Everything You Need to Know About the Chevrolet Corvette

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What You Need to Know About the Corvette

On January 17, 1953 Chevrolet unveiled the Corvette at the at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City as part of that year’s GM Motorama, kicking off what has become a love affair with America’s sports car.

Production began on June 30, 1953, in Flint, Michigan with the first round of production capped at 300 vehicles. Each of those models were hand-built and came with a Polo White paint job accented by a Sportsman Red interior, were powered by a 150-horsepower, inline-six engine mated to a two-speed Powerglide transmission, and only came with two options - a heater and an AM radio.

In those first models, there was one glaring issue. The sporty exterior did not match what was offered under the hood, taking 11.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph time. What the Corvette needed was a V8 engine.

For the 1954 model year, production of the Corvette moved to GM’s factory in St. Louis, Missouri and the 3,640 vehicles produced that year got a five horsepower bump over the previous model year’s offerings. Sales languished.

In 1955 Chevrolet introduced the small-block V8 and never looked back. The power it brought to the Corvette gave it wider appeal, as did modern conveniences. By 1963 demand had increased and the automaker was producing 27,000 Corvettes per year.

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